Spring 2023

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Motion design is everywhere. The gleaming screens of our phones, TVs and poster sites demand more and more ways to make words and pictures dance in space and time. By John L. Walters [EXTRACT]

There is nothing new about moving type and image. The desire to make graphics move, to see type twist and change within three-dimensional space – or create that illusion – has been around for some time. The optical effects of signpainting, day-glo inks, shadows, embossing and debossing all allow the designer to play with the idea of kineticism, even when there is no actual movement. The need to animate graphics for film, TV, advertising and branding has provided the economic driver; the human desire for novelty, in tandem with all that technology permits, has provided the impetus.

Here in the third decade of the 21st century, motion design is everywhere. The tablets in our hands, like the enormous screens that fill entire billboard sites, are static objects on whose gleaming surfaces we perceive the fantasy of graphic outlines that swell, burst, swivel and change constantly in a 2D simulacrum of 3D space and time. What’s new is the ubiquity and diversity of means to make words and pictures dance; the multiplicity of ways to display the results; and the number of practitioners working in this field. Successive waves of creative activity have become a tsunami …

John L. Walters, editor of Eye, London

Top image: Snippet of Shape Study – Line by Dirk Koy.

Spliced throughout this feature are articles on:

Len Lye
Motion is not an intellectual game. There is not a moment in life that’s empty of kinetic experience.’

Hiromu Oka
‘By using Risograph to actually print on paper and then digitally scan it, I was able to create an authentic warmth.’

Fraser Muggeridge studio / Droga5

Matt Willey
‘Light gets turned into graphic dots – I thought this might be a nice way of capturing that feeling without being too literal or cheesy.’

Oliver Latta aka Extraweg
‘I want to pull the viewers out of their comfort zone and, what is most important, I want to make them feel or think something.’

Saskia Marka
‘It looks now like it was always the concept, but it was created from a necessity.’

Roy Terhorst

Mitch Paone
‘It’s not a poster, you’re in a 360-degree universe you can play with. You’ve got to get out of the frame!’

Dirk Koy
‘It was a kind of experiment between control and coincidence, which is still an important part [of] the process in my work today.’

Thanks to Gabriela Matuszyk for additional research and reporting.

Read the full version in Eye no. 104 vol. 26, 2023

Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues.